August 31, 2007

Dropped by just now

to speak with uncle again, security guard at this building and Ah Boy's owner. He is still adamantly against neutering Ah Boy even though he knows that as of 1 Sep, the AVA will be implementing a new set of Dog Licensing and Control Rules, and renewing Ah Boy's licence is now $70 instead of $14.

Licence fee for all unsterilised dogs - male and female - will be $70/year. It used to be $14/year for unsterilised male dogs and $70/year for unsterilised female dogs. However, since we all understand that both male and female dogs are equally responsible for procreation, it is only logical that licence fees are standardised throughout.

The only issue here is -- what about the current older males who may not be suitable to be put uner GA for sterilisation? Will the authorities make an exception for them?

Well, so there I was chatting with uncle. Ah Boy has gone off somewhere and was not back yet. He was later than usual, according to uncle.

The female was there and uncle threw her a chicken drumstick that the office workers there bought for them. 2 drumsticks each for Ah Boy and his gal. And a box of rice each. They have no lack of food here.

Unfortunately, there is no way we can get close to the girl. She keeps her distance. After taking her drumstick out to the grass patch to eat, she trotted across the road for a little stroll and back again to rest on the ground a few metres away from uncle's table.

Will continue to convince uncle and also make plans to capture this girl for sterilisation.

Pictures of hope!

From abandonment to near-death -- to rescue and hope. These are the pictures of hope that lift my soul in gratitude that the kindness of men shall prevail.

Found living in a canal, apparently for a month already before anyone bothered to call.

Carmen after weeks of intensive care. Hope reigns!

I have been wondering when I would finally

let go of my thoughts and doubts of Jamie. Seemed like I couldn't really settle his issue peacefully in my heart. Knowing the right thing to do, and accepting it as the right thing to do - there still is a slim bordeline to cross to get to a solid resolution.

When we went to ARC for a 2nd opinion and was again advised to put Jamie to sleep to relieve him of his suffering, it wasn't what we intended. We went there with hope. But we accepted the advice when we saw how Jamie was, right in front of us. That was 2 weeks ago.

Last night, coincidentally during a social function, I met Dr L. I've been wanting to ask him for his personal views on Jamie. After explaining to him Jamie's story and how Dr S advised putting him down too, he listened and said that was the kindest thing to do for Jamie. He suspected that the lump in Jamie's stomach was cancerous. When we found Jamie, the growth could already be invasive, affecting his spinal cord and causing his paralysis, taking his life in just a short period.

The kindest thing to do. But certainly not the easiest.

* We are still awaiting the post-mortem results.

August 30, 2007

"A nice house. A new car. A big boat.

You can’t take them with you.

A promotion. A new house. The rewards of winning at life’s game can be thrilling. But eventually everything goes back into the box.

Remember the thrill of winning at checkers? You become the Master of the Board—the victor over everyone else. But what happens after that: It all goes back in the box. You don’t get to keep one token, one chip, one game card. In the end, the spoils of the game add up to nothing.

Using popular games as a metaphor for our temporal lives.......we see what’s fleeting and what’s permanent in Life. Being Master of the Board is not the point; being rich toward Life, rich toward God is.

Winning the game of life on Earth is a temporary victory; loving God and other people with all our hearts is an eternal one.

Focus on winning the right trophies."

Adapted from a review on "When The Game Is Over, It All Goes Back In The Box". A good reminder on how we should live our Life. The hundred years or more we have on earth. How precious each day is.

There is no real victory in collecting cars, cards, property etc .. when your personal life is empty and cold, with no real joy to share with family and friends who are real to you, and whom you are real to.

Real in how you treat them. A refreshing openness and honesty and courage to love with abandonment, with no fear of how the reactions may be so long as you have chosen and decided to take the FIRST STEP to reach out to the other person. And welcome him/her into your world.

Just as our dogs and pets so openly and innocently welcomes you into their world. No considerations of how you think of them. No fear of rejection. And even if there is some reservation, given a period of familiarity, once the confidence and trust is established, they come with an abandonment mostly seen in children, which diminishes in many adults.

Come on now and let loose a bit. Dare to forget about yourself for a moment. Cos most of the time, when WE feel bad, down, is cos we only have ME, MYSELF & I in our mind. What about ME? Who's going to take care of ME? How am I going get through this?

When we only look at ourselves, everything else fades away and our own issues become magnified.

Turn away from self now. Look to others. Ask: Who can I help today? Seek out someone, some animal to help. And go do that with all your heart.

At the end of the day, when you have a GOOD DAY, you'll find that it is most likely a day when 'me, myself & I" are not quite in the picture.

You are happy cos you have made another happy.

That is the secret of true joy. I believe.

August 28, 2007

Check out the amazing photos

from Vets Beyond Borders.

This is what I want to do when I am a fully qualified vet.

First, our local strays. Then, I will volunteer my time for the many more strays and wildlife around our region and all across the world.

Amazing visuals to transport you across continents. How small a life we lead here yes? With our spanky shopping malls and recreational culture. When there is an amazing display of LIFE - both humans and animals - all around us, just waiting for us to experience.

For those of you who have donated

towards Carmen, the rescued Boxer under ASD, here's a short update from ASD:

"Carmen is doing great, put on 4 kgs in 2 weeks, hair growing in somespots, will be starting her on her skin treatment soon, very sweet and affectionate girl, have some updated pics.... will include in an email blast ... soon."

You can read her story in my 15 July post.

Keep your support and concerns going. It is through such encouragement that all of us keep on forging ahead.

It was a great show

on Sunday! Great crowd, great dogs, great fun! SKC adopted Action for Singapore Dogs with 50% of entry fees from Companion Dog Show going towards ASD's cause.

Will, ASD's rescued dog on wheels stirred up the crowd and their hearts and helped garner in much support for ASD. His is a story of hope given.

Our celebrity judges, Colleen, Daren and Andrea, were cool and great too at each of their events. Best Dressed went to Rocky the Sheltie who came as a cool dude cowboy. Best Trick went to Whisky (again!), the joyous Schnauzer who is a delight to watch. And Best In Show for Champ For A Day went to good 'ol Bob the Golden Retriever (again!). He is surely the judges' fav! :) The Fastest Eater contest was a blast with Wonder the black lab downing 5 cookies in less than 5 secs! And the Waggiest Tail was a laugh with some dogs with stumpy tails that seem to vibrate more than wag!

All such good fun to celebrate the simple joys of dog ownership. Well done all! And we had a fabulous emcee to hold the show together and great prizes from our sponsor The Honest Kitchen.

Thanks to all who came to help and participate. Won't be possible without you all.

Will post the photos soon. Thanks Nick for your good eye!

August 25, 2007

Make a date.

Bring your dogs down to the SKC Dog Show this Sunday at Expo Hall 5, 9am - 6pm.

All dogs are welcomed to take part in the Companion Dog Show with fun events like Doggy Olympic Run, Fastest Eater, Waggiest Tail, Best Trick, Champion For A Day. To up the hype, we have celebrities like Ms Colleen Francisca (Ms Singapore World), Darren Tan (Project Superstar) and Andrea Fonseka (Deal or No Deal, Live The Dream) to judge the events.

You can register your dogs for teh events between 9am - 11am this Sunday outside Hall 5.

All for a good cause with 50% of entry proceeds going to Action For Singapore Dogs. You'll get to meet Will too, a rescued stray who lost both his hinds and is now on wheels.

Admission tickets: $6/adult, $1/dog, Free for kids below 12.

See you there!

* There is a Cat Show happening same day, same time at Hall 6.

August 24, 2007

An informative read

from ACVA, especially the last part on "Recognising Pain".

Recognizing Pain

Species-specific and individual responses to pain are quite variable; therefore, it is essential that veterinary staff evaluating animals for pain have a thorough understanding of typical species-specific and individual behaviors.

An important part of determining whether an animal is in pain is the ability to recognize departures from normal behavior and appearance of that animal. In this regard, the animal's owner or handler may be able to recognize subtle behaviors indicative of pain that would otherwise go unnoticed.

The following are some examples of behaviors indicative of pain; however, these examples are not intended to be all-inclusive for all species.

* Changes in personality or attitude. A normally quiet and docile animal becomes suddenly aggressive, or an aggressive animal becomes quiet. An animal may attempt to bite, especially when a painful area is palpated. The animal may not interact with the clinician in a normal manner, but may seem to be unresponsive or withdrawn.

Abnormal vocalization, especially when a painful area is palpated or the animal is forced to move. For example, dogs whine or whimper, cats hiss or growl, pigs grunt and squeal excessively, primates grunt or scream, rats squeak at an unusual pitch, mice chatter. Vocalization tends to be an insensitive and nonspecific indicator of pain and should not be relied on as the sole criterion for determining whether an animal requires treatment for pain.

* Licking, biting, scratching or shaking of a painful area. If excessive, these behaviors can lead to self-mutilation.

Changes in the appearance of the haircoat. Ruffled fur, a greasy appearance indicative of a lack of grooming, and piloerection may be indicative of pain.

* Changes in posture or ambulation. Limping or carrying of a painful appendage; tensing of abdominal and back muscles to produce a tucked up appearance is especially noticeable in dogs, cats, and rodents.

* Changes in activity level. An animal may become restless and pace or repetitively lie down, get up, and lie down again. In contrast, an animal may be recumbent and lethargic or reluctant to move with guarding of the painful area.

* Changes in appetite, such as a decrease in food and water consumption leading to weight loss and dehydration.

* Changes in facial expression. Eyes become dull and pupils may be dilated. Pinning of the ears, grimacing, and a sleepy or photophobic appearance may be evident.

Excessive sweating or salivation. Horses frequently sweat in response to pain; however, cattle do not. Stressed rodents often salivate excessively.

Oculonasal discharge. Rats when stressed often shed porphyrin pigment in their tears and appear to be bleeding from their eyes and nose.

Teeth grinding is frequently heard in rabbits, cattle, sheep, and goats experiencing pain.

Changes in bowel movements or urination, such as diarrhea with soiling of the perineum, dysuria, and tenesmus

August 23, 2007

Have you ever pondered on the word


Euthanasia comes from a Greek word. 'Eu' means good. 'Thanotos' means death.

Euthanasia thus is a process of inducing 'good death'. A death that is swift and involved very little pain or distress, for animals suffering from an incurable or painful disease.

It stands on the belief that a long life does not always equate to a good life. And a short but meaningful and happy life far outweighs a long dreary existence of pain, suffering and lifelong medication.

Still pondering on the issue of health and life.

If you have a dog constantly plaqued with chronic skin problems, that can only be controlled by lifelong medication which offers great relief, but unfortunately gives him side effects and shortens his life, what would you choose for him?

A long and dreadfully itchy life? Or a shorter but more quality one?

If it is for yourself, what would you choose?

I know many pet owners

have their reservations about putting their pets on lifelong conventional medications. Eg, many of our dogs face similar dermatological problems - hot spots, eczema, rashes that makes your dog miserable, constantly itching and scratching which further leads to secondary bacterial infections.

The mainstay treatment is antibiotics (to control bacterial infections), antihistamine (to relieve the itch), recommendations to take note of dogs' living environments, diet and lifestyle. Totally similar to human skin problems.

I understand many owners are adverse and tired of the same problem recurring after a course of medication is finished, and upon the next consultation, a stronger dose might be prescribed.

For me who naturally am inclined towards natural therapy and supplements and a fresh, healthy diet of homecooked food as the first line in treatment whenever possible, I tend to shun antibiotics for my dog, even for myself paracetemol hardly gets into my bloodstream. I prefer to let a rare case of fever/cold/cough to wear itself out and it always does without much fuss.

I believe our bodies know when we need a rest. Infections like a cold, skin problems, cough are signals that we have been running ourselves a bit overdrive. We may not have been sleeping enough (my issue persistently!), drinking enough fluids, having a healthy diet, quiet time -- and thus, our immunity falls and we become susceptible to infections.

So during this time, say you have a cold/cough, the best thing to do is take a day or 2 off and just completely rest at home. Sleep. Eat little. Drink lots. Let your body slow down and gather energy towards healing itself, instead of wasting energy digesting mountainloads of food and snacks that we tend to plunge into our systems. I think many of us really, really overeat.

Animals know this instinctively. Watch our animals in the wild. You hardly find an obese lion, or a fat wolf. Wild animals do not tend to gorge themselves silly. They eat to live while many to eat?? But in a controlled environment like our homes with our pets, many of our dogs have grown greedy and obese from the irresponsibilities of their owners. It is never funny nor cute to see an obese dog. So often, when I see an obese dog and recently I saw an obese beagle, it is almost always that the owner is obese too..... Owners out there, please, it is not cute anymore when your dog is 10 years old and he is struggling with his weight problem cos YOU have been gleefully offering him treat after treat. You are harming him.

Animals who are unwell tend to fast. I have seen our local strays, eg, a girl who was slightly knocked by a moving car. She was limping around, looking edgy and in pain, and for the next 3 days, she hardly ate but chose to lie down in a quiet corner and rest. By the fourth day, she was all well. Another local boy whose ear was so badly maggoted infested disappeared for more than a week. We thought he had passed on, but in the second week, he reappeared from his rest somewhere, thinner but with his ear dry and recovered.

Conventional medication does have its place, I'm not refuting that. What I'm saying is our first inclination should be towards building up health, and not suppressing symptoms. When your health is built up with a healthy diet, supplements, activity and rest, your immunity is naturally strong and you'll be resistent to infections. Same for your pet. Symptoms suppressed are akin to dirt swept under a mat, out of sight, out of mind for a period but they will surface in time. Do not take the wide path of quick fixes. Consider the narrow and longer way which may take more efforts as changing a lifestyle will entail -- of more efforts in taking time to prepare a homecooked meal for your pet, of finding a good supplement and sticking with it and not ending up with bottles opened but half-finished, of making time for activities out in the great nature and lots of good rest.

Good health simply comes from putting good stuff into your system - your body, mind and soul -- good food, good activities, good thoughts. Not from suppressing the bad stuff that are coming forth. It is all very common sense and simple once you get it.

August 20, 2007

Take a few minutes to

offer your views on LTA's survey: Allowing Pets at MRT stations/on trains.

My views: so long as the pets are not a nuisance (as some kids can be anyway...) and owners keep them in control, respecting the fact that not everyone is an animal lover, we should be ready to be gracious to include pets on our public transport.

August 17, 2007

I have still been thinking about Jamie.

One thought foremost in my mind is - was he in pain.

We had been so adamant about not putting animals to sleep cos of the fear that euthanasia becomes a convenient solution, the presence and capability of which may point you down the path of wrong decisions. Go back to the time when euthanasia does not exist at all. What then would we do?

Are we fair to say that sometimes professional advice may not be correct? Maybe the question to the vet should be: If Jamie is your own dog, what would you do now? Would euthanasia then be the prompt answer? Or will he/she come up with other solutions?

But to me, somehow the key answer I needed to know is if Jamie was in pain.

We all know and I've heard vets confirm that animals are very good at hiding pain. Your very own pet may be masking his/her discomfort and pain and you may never know about it. Therein lies the dilemma when you decide whether to hold on or to let go.

Cos when we look at Jamie, to me, he doesn't look that bad. He did not show any clear indication that he was in pain - no groaning, no whining, no crying or writhing. He was just lying still and weak. But how do we know whether he was in pain or not?

And if he was in such pain and yet we held on, how selfish would we be?

I find myself turning that question in my mind: How do we know if an animal is suffering in pain silently? I needed to know. And this is what I chanced upon in Animals in Translation:


"An injured animal in terrible pain will actually eat food...something all our theories of stress tell us shouldn't happen....there is no way to know how much pain an animal is in when you're right there in the room with him. Animals mask pain."

Just this few lines jolted me.

What if we go about our attempts, trying to keep an animal alive, cos we think that is the right thing to do. To never give up. To never consider euthanasia. But what if, by going headlong in this direction, we have actually been letting Jamie lived on in pain?

"Fear is worse than pain. The single worst thing you can do to an animal emotionally is to make it feel afraid. Fear is so bad for animals I think it's worse than pain...An animal who is completely alone and giving full expression to severe pain acts less incapacitated than an animal who's scared half out of his wits."

Reading this, I understand why trapped animals will endure horrendous pain to chew off their trapped paws just to escape. They must be driven by immense fear and all their mind could comprehend then was to escape this fear. Pain took second place.

We can't look at ourselves when we make a decision. We must look only at that animal. But how do we truly, truly know?

August 16, 2007

We have called for a post-mortem

to be done for Jamie so we can know the truth and learn to take corrective measures in future cases. ARC has sent Jamie to the Veterinary Pathology Branch of the Animal & Plant Health Lab (APHL) of the AVA for post-mortem examination.

Statement from APHL:
"....due to the possibility of additional lab tests coupled with case complexity, the post mortem results may take up to 5 weeks for completion...".

We all soften with age.

For it takes too much energy to live a hard and closed-up life. A waste of good energy that can be channelled to a good cause.

Let down your guard. And let yourself be touched by Life.

Soften with age.

"The main difference between animal emotions

and human emotions is that animals don't have mixed emotions the way normal people do. Animals aren't ambivalent. They don't have love-hate relationships with each other or with people. That's one of the reasons humans love animals so much. Animals are loyal. If an animal loves you, he loves you no matter what. He doesn't care what you look like or how much money you make."

Taken from an interesting book: "ANIMALS IN TRANSLATION" by Temple Grandin, herself an autistic who uses the mysteries of autism to decode animal behaviour. Thanks L for sharing this! Very interesting read.

Can we all live with direct and open feelings like animals do? Do you even dare to? Do you find it difficult to tell someone honestly that you love them? That you dislike them? Do you dare to take in and nurse a dying animal? How honestly have we been living? Or do you still choose to hide behind an ambivalent face.

We all need the animals around us to learn to live innocently. Childlike. Forgive and forget. And to let feelings of grief go when the mourning is done. Some people live in grief which they can't let go. Maybe a part of them feels that it is disrespectful and wrong to stop grieving and start living again. It may seem noble but it is all just a warped sense of loyalty and self-pity. Grief will immobilise you. True love liberates. It frees you. Whoever is leaching onto you and suffocating you, he/she knows nothing about love.

Many times, it takes more courage to let go than to hang on.

I hope to reach the place

where I look at an animal and KNOW instinctively what he wants, what he needs. To know what he is thinking and feeling. So that we can make the right choices. Not based on how we feel and think. But on what the animal is telling us. With no words.

I want to reach that place of connection. Only then can we be trusted to decide on behalf of the animals.

The vet who gave us a second opinion said that it is very rare for the circulation to completely shut down on Jamie's hinds. We won't know the cause until a post-mortem is done which we have already called for.

The very least we can do is to find out the exact cause of Jamie's paralysis and death. Let it be a learning step for other animals to come.

We will update when we receive the results.

August 15, 2007

Very very sorry.

Jamie is no longer with us. We are very very sorry.

When we brought him to the vet this noon, at his condition then, considering the multiple issues he is suffering from, the advice was already to put him down, and I know that is the very last choice that vets will advise so we do take that seriously. However, a part of me rejected that choice. It didn't quite get into me.

Partly I didn't want to make that kind of decision on my own. And also, I felt that even if we did choose to euthanise him, and if he is not in pain at this moment, I so wanted him to have a good last few days with L. Cos I know somehow she understands innately Jamie's needs and I know she will give herself wholeheartedly to him during his last days, as she has given to her own paralysed dog when she nursed him back to health, to the point of a massive heartache that is quite unfair for me to lay upon her. But that was what I wanted for Jamie.

So when I got back from the vet and posted the update and discussed with KZ and L and CL, I was glad we have decided to postpone our decision till tomorrow when Dr L could see him.

But come late noon, Jamie vomited. And that is not a good sign. Early evening, his temperature has fallen to 35 degrees celsius. Normal temperature is about 38. First indications that he could be going into shock -clinical state where there is inadequate blood flow to the body tissues which leads to lack of oxygen, accummulation of acids and ultimately death of the cells.

His paws were cold and his gums were very pale and he was very weak.

We couldn't wait till tomorrow. He was put on drip while we made our way to bring him as soon as we can for a blood transfusion. On the way there, he had no strength and was just lying next to me, very quietly.

On our way.

When we got there, his temperature has fallen to 32 degrees. He has gone into shock. His pupils were dilated and his eyes were glazed. His organs were shutting down.

The vet said that he has no blood circulation at all now on his hinds, no pulse at all, which means that he would never get that circulation back and the only solution is to amputate his wasted leg.

But being so weak, he cannot be operated on as he would not survive the op. But if no op was done, he would have died anyway from the blood clot or whatever was cutting off the circulation to his hinds and possible septicemia (blood poisoning) which could already have taken place.

The vet's opinion, a second opinion for Jamie, was, at this stage, to put him down. As it is totally unfair to prolong his suffering any longer, no matter how much we wish to wait some more and see how it goes. But I guess it comes to a point where we forgot that it's about the animal, the suffering animal, and it turns dangerously to be about us. About our wants and needs and hopes while the animal lying in front of us is barely on its lifeline.

I won't be able to make a decision on my own. And I realise in a clinical setting, the mind tends to agree with the professional advice but once you stepped outside, you realise you could have made the wrong choice.

So I was so glad to have KZ, HP, and L with me. One person could make a mistake. But for 4 of us to concur as one, it brings great relief to my heart that we are making the right decision.

For all the controversies that euthanasia brings, this is one instance where man's ability to end a life is a blessing.

And so, we let tears fall unabashedly as we let Jamie silently slip away from us. He is free now. Free from the betrayal of his owner who chucked him to the farm. Free from the less than acceptable conditions that was his 'home'. Free from pain and discomfort and fear of his sudden paralysis and illness. Free with the freedom that death brings which also frees my heart to grieve for him at this moment with the usual sadness, anger, doubts on what could have and should have been which I know will pass as we dare to be honest with ourselves that in life and death, joy and grief, I know I will be glad when the grief subsides, glad for all the lessons that once again, an innocent animal has taught us. Of how death reminds us freshly of life. Of how that line spoke to me: It is at the point closest to death, that we feel most alive.

But now, for some moments more, I am very very sorry. Even more sorry after I read N's email, offering to take Jamie in even if he has to amputate his leg, of how gracious and big hearted she is, ready to welcome Jamie into her home.

I am very very sorry N. But I couldn't be blind to the truth placed in my face and serve to fulfil our selfish hopes of a recovery when it is time to let go.

So we let Jamie go. And it hurts. So much more now than that very moment with him. But who says the right decision is always easy? It is tough at times. And it hurts real bad. And there are so many questions swirling in your mind it makes you think you've done wrong again.

But wait for the tears to subside and the doubts to clear away. And you will see that sometimes you are sad because you did not get what you wish for. But look beyond your self. You may have helped another being get his/her wish fulfilled however much pain it brings you.

The joy is real when after all the tears, a quiet sense of peace remains. That is when true closure arrives. And you can once again move on with the courage of lessons learnt and lives touched.

Thank you T, L, CL for walking the path with Jamie. And thank you to all of you who have shown much concern and support for him. I am thankful for this little part of my life with Jamie.

Jamie has taken a slight turn

for the worse. His right hind leg has gotten badly infected due to a combination of factors - from lack of blood flow (which will eventually cause gangrene) and bacteria infection - despite the regular physiotherapy done daily on his hinds and his dosage of antibiotics.

He basically has no sensation on his right hind leg now. The paw feels cold due to lack of blood flow. His left hind leg, on the other hand, is still able to sense slightly.

He seems not much better than on Sat, appearing a wee bit thinner to me cos he is eating but not that much. As usual, according to T, no vomiting, no diarrhea, no cough, no pain apparantly cos he is not whining/groaning. He just appears weak and listless.

His gums are still very pale despite medication, no signs of improvement. The tumour in his stomach is the other issue, though of cos that could be just benign or just possibly, that growth could be what's causing his anaemia and paralysis.

Advice given was to put him down as there doesn't appear to be any quality of life for him in this state. And as always, there is this plaquing doubt if we humans are playing god again by prolonging a life seemingly not worth living anymore.

And there are other questions to consider

- if we decide on amputation, are we further compromising Jamie's quality of life?

- Who will take in a disabled dog and give him a permanent, happy home?

- There are also people who will chide a decision to spend money on Jamie instead of putting him to sleep right now.

My answer there and then at the clinic: I don't know.

I heard the advice but it just didn't get absorbed in fully. I hear it again but I couldn't make a decision.

So I came back and emailed out Jamie's photos to KZ and L, and later CL took a look. After talking and discussing, which is vital in such situations as I cannot make a decision on my own, Jamie is blessed to have CL's help in making an appointment with ARC tomorrow morning for a second opinon on his chances and prognosis.

We will decide after Dr L sees Jamie tomorrow. That is only fair to Jamie I guess. Or is it fair to us? When we make decisions on behalf of animals, who are we making the deciosn for? What would Jamie want right now? I'm sorry I don't have the answer right now.

On a separate note: Thanks so much T. We know how much work it has been for the past few days. Not many people will take on this responsibility like you did. Truly appreciate.

Mrs K and Hisser

A month ago, Hisser was discovered listless and much scrawnier, among the colony of community cats, where an elderly caregiver religiously feeds everyday. It was (still is) difficult to get hold of Hisser, as unlike the bulk of the lot, she's much more wary of humans, even of the hand that feeds her, and snarls and hisses, being the more defensive cat she is.

When Mrs K sounded to us that she needed help to catch her, we knew that Hisser was not doing well. It was a tearful day for Mrs K, as she clasped her hand tightly with mine and sobbed uncontrollably, when I told her that the diagnosis wasn't ideal - Hisser had ulcerations at her privates due to infected urine. As a result, she was unable to control her urination, but managed to eat fairly well with chicken meat smeared with butter.

At 80 plus, Mrs K manages several colonies of community cats and knows each feline by heart, and very, very religiously, feeds them and monitors their health. Like most caregivers, she's on her own and has spent fortunes on cats for medication, sterilisation, food and daily operational maintenance.

She clasped mine with a hand that was covered with plasters and that which was bleeding from the sratches that Hisser inflicted, as we were trying to put her into the carrier against her attempts to bolt out of it a few times. We had to sit around and lure her from under the van with as much patience as Hisser's scepticism about us. It was traumatic for the sick cat who was groaning and growling the entire process, but it was worth the try.

And after days of observation, we released Hisser back to the community who scurried across the alley to her abode she has been calling home for the past years. A secluded, dirty corner, but her safe spot.

Hisser disappeared for a few days after the release but returned to the Mrs K and her food, as carefully affectionate as before, and struts around with the rest, having gained good weight and a reduced infection.

Hisser is back to the community, ear-tipped, treated and healthy.

If you'd like to help Mrs K with her expenses on Hisser's treatment which fetched a few hundred dollars, please email

Your ongoing kindness is greatly appreciated, and we are very glad to tie your support with the figure that the community cats heavily on and of course, Hisser, who survived a fatal infection with people like Mrs K who mothers her cats with a faith that is moving and inspiring to all of us.

Hisser warded at the vet's. She had to be put on glucose drip - from the tube you see in the picture.

Junior's skin allergy

We'll be taking Junior to the vet this weekend to treat her skin allergy. Junior and Ginne are tough kids, having survived the ordeal after their owners abandoned them, and having roughed it out in the outdoors with the rest of the dogs at the shelter, being domesticated dogs themselves.

We made a visit to the shelter a few weeks ago and bathed the girls, and by all accounts despite their right to distrust humans, were jubilant to see us. It's always a bittersweet experience to see the very dog that we fostered and trained, subsequently entrusted to an adoptive family, to be frivolously abandoned at the end of the day. I always feel I owe the dogs something, for subjecting them to a family that eluded all responsibilities of decent pet ownership.

Junior is down with hair loss and rashes on one side of her trunk - her belly, shoulders and chest. Hopefully, her allergy will lessen as she gradually gets used to sleeping in the outdoors.

This is an overdue post, but I just want to express my thoughts that she is no less a lovable companion dog and with Ginne, very, very suitable for adoption.

Please give them some hope.

21 July 07 - Junior's rashes spread rapidly. Hope it's more controlled now.

Ginne and Junior at the shelter, bathed.

Junior in her happier days at the home where we thought would be permanent.

August 13, 2007

Jamie has settled down well

with T. He has also stopped his unexpected biting episodes which were simply caused by apprehension and uncertainty over his sudden paralysis. We are restricting his movements for now on vet's advice so that he will not further aggravate any injuries that had happened to his nerves. To help him recover faster, T will give him regular manual physiotherapy to his hind legs by lightly stretching them to keep his muscles in use. We are also considering hydrotherapy and acupuncture suggested by our supporters who have seen good results.

Thanks N for the encouraging email,

thot I will share a short snippet here:

"....Don't give up and press on, don't worry about money (though it's a major problem) if any one of them need medical care, just do it. There are many many strays out there and if you bum into one that needs medical help it could be works of God / fate? Whether they survive or not is no longer our call as long as we do out best. If people who are kind to donate should know that life and death is not our call and no one really can tell in advance if the dog/cat will survive. Doctor can only judge with limitation. So don't hold it against yourself if they can't make it and pray that they are in a far better place...." NC.

I've been thinking about our purpose on earth. What are we meant to do in life? Why we do the things we do? And why we make the connections we make? What are we born to be in this lifetime of ours?

Was having dinner with a friend few nights back, and as we chat and dine, I ocassionally looked around at other diners, some lost in their own conversations and meal, others quite obviously there to see and be seen, and I can't help but think of the people who are living each day frivolously, without focus, without passion, not making any bit of difference to the world, to a single person or living being during their many waking hours. Many of us live just for ourselves. Nothing much else. It's a life I cannot comprehend.

But on the other hand, if we are racing about in a desperate fight to save the world, the hungry, the children with Aids, to save the whales, the seals, the dogs, the trees, the corals........and in that chase, lose sight of our very own family and loved ones, people closest to us, losing our connections and bloodline......then I would say the fight is not worth it.

Do not fall under the trap of losing ourselves while fighting for others. If we do, we will wake up one day and realise how myopic and misdirected we have been. Everything starts from home. From the place closest to your heart. If there is chaos in your family, settle that first. Make peace. Then whatever you accomplish for the world will be worthwhile. And you yourself will know that instinctively.

This is my personal opinion.

August 11, 2007

Before we brought Jamie to the vet,

as uncle had not arrived on the farm yet, we brought our 3 pups to be sterilised. Yes they are still pups but this pack is very sturdy and strong, very good-looking.

Thank you very much SB for your donation towards the sterilisation of these 3. We had them microchipped too so that they can be identified should the authorities come along to catch them for culling.

Microchip numbers

Their ears are also tipped to identify them as sterilised dogs. But unfortunately, in the present state of treatment of strays, these measures we undertake - STERILISATION, MICROCHIP, EAR TIP - may mean nothing to the authorities who view them plainly as 'straying dogs'. Despite the plain fact that we have done what we can to control the stray population in a humane way.

However, if there is anything we can do to control our stray population in a HUMANE way and to accord the strays a measure of SAFETY on the streets and farms where they live, we will continue to do that.

We have no control of others' treatment of the animals. But we sure do have control over our own decisions and actions.

Puppyhood - 1 boy (far left) and 2 girls.

Young adults now - on the way to be sterilised so that they will not add onto the stray population.

Our boy, neutered and microchipped, with his left ear tipped. All done to accord him a measure of safety on the streets where he lives.

Today, we settled

Little Jamie's vet bill of last week ($123.20) and $200 for Guppy. Thank you very very much T and JL for your donations.

We have an outstanding of $279 for Guppy, $65 for Xiao Bai and $60 for Jamie plus $28 for Jamie's food and shampoo.

We are not a registered society. Donations can either be made by cheque payable to the vet clinic or by bank transfer to my personal account if you have faith in what we do. My personal account is: DBS Savings Plus 050-5-017652.

We will mail you a copy of the receipt when we have made payment.

Your contributions will give us the strength and encouragement to continue our work with the needy animals.

Thank you.

Little Jamie has taken a turn

for the worse. When I called to check with uncle last evening, he told me that Jamie's hind legs had suddenly become very weak.

With that in mind and plans to remove him from the farm, we asked around for fosters and were very grateful that T agreed to care for Jamie. At that point, we thought that it would be a pretty simple affair of medication and letting Jamie recuperate in a good environment while we find a home.

However, when we arrive this morning on the farm, Jamie's 'very weak' hind legs was an understatement. His hind legs were actually already wasted and paralysed. When he saw me, he scooted on his bum as best as he can to come forward. I was quite shocked to how his condition has deteriorated in a week. His gums were still very pale.

On our way to the clinic, he was too weak to do anything but lie silently on the backseat with me. At times, he would whine and groan in discomfort.

At the clinic, we took his temperature again which was normal. According to the uncle, he doesn't have any diarrhea or vomiting. And his appetite is still good. Strange. Then what had caused this sudden paralysis?

According to Dr B, it looks like a damage to the nerves, beginning from the lower spine. When we tested by pinching his hind paws, Jamie didn't react, confirming that he has lost sensations in his hinds. This could be caused by a fall, sudden twist of the body that damages the nerves. But as Jamie is kept chained up on a flat surface, and he has been too weak for the past week to be jumping around, I can't imagine how he could have fallen or twisted his back in any way.

However, it seems that on many ocassions, paralysis is temporary and the dog regains movement in a few weeks. We hope this is the case for Jamie.

He did poo and pee a bit at the clinic which is a good sign that he still has control of his rectum and bladder.

Read up on the grades of paralysis and here is some info:
Using a 4-grade system (1 = pain only; 2 = pain + paresis; 3 = pain + paralysis; 4 = paralysis of both hind limbs and loss of deep pain sensation, meaning constipation and unable to pass urine).

Chances of recovery in grade 1 and 2 is excellent; in grade 3 is very good and in grade 4 is poor. Grade 4 cases need a lot of care (nursing, turning frequently to prevent body sores, catheterisation, manual emptying of rectum in constipation). Many owners are unable to nurse a dog suffering with grade 4 symptoms.

Jamie appears to be grade 2 since he was just paralysed on his hinds and could lift his front body. He should be able to recover within 3 months. The treatment is to confine it and restrict its movement. The presence of some pain would also explain why he turned back and attempted to bite when we were moving him. He had never bitten before so this just means that he is feeling some pain/discomfort and possibly he was fearful and apprehensive in his paralysed condition.

T came to the clinic shortly and Dr B ran through with him the needs of Jamie at this period. This is more work than expected when T first agreed to foster Jamie coupled with his slight tendency now to bite (out of fear/pain), and the need to clean him up often if he pees while lying down.

Very very grateful that T still agrees to care for Jamie during this period.

* We are also looking for a stand-by foster home or better yet, a permanent family who will commit to take Jamie in and look after him during this period till full recovery. He is a good guy. Just not quite himself during this period of sudden paralysis and the pain/discomfort he is feeling which makes him grouchy at times. Give him some time and we'll see the fine fellow that is all little Jamie to begin with.

So, give it some thought. You could be the one who can give Jamie a good life from now on. It's really about time.

August 10, 2007

Little Jamie,

our anaemic Jack Russell is not doing too good. According to the farm uncle, he was better the couple of days when we started medication, but then he seemed to have gotten worse, and in the uncle's own words, his hind legs are now very weak. His appetite is still good (though I'm really not sure how true this is), no diarrhea or vomiting.

The thing is, it is not that easy to get information from people on such farms. Mainly cos the dogs are never their first priority. We can't be totally sure even if medication is given as indicated even though we call them to check regularly and write the instructions down in mandarin and as graphically as we can to make sure they get it. I realise a common habit the people have is to tell you that everything is fine...everything is ok...and then suddenly drop you a bomb to say that, hey...the dog is not walking...not moving...not eating...and that could have been the scene for the past few days already. So we have to be very proactive and keep calling them rather than wait for their news.

We'll visit little Jamie again tomorrow and take him to the vet again if the situation is not ideal. Also, we'll be making arrangements for Jamie to relocate to a foster family as conditions at the farm are really not acceptable for even a healthy dog, much more a weak one who needs proper rehabilitation.

T has kindly offered to foster Jamie for a period. However, to stand by, in case of any changes/needs, do contact us if you can foster and care for Jamie for a period of 2 months till he is all well and fit. We will also be rehoming him as the uncle has mentioned that Jamie was given to them by 'someone' and this 'someone' has asked them to take care of Jamie, but after that, that 'someone' didn't turn up at all anymore. The uncle then said that we can 'have' Jamie if we want. Well, that's for the better for Jamie.

He is a small little fellow. No fuss. Pretty young, our guess is about 4 years maybe. For now, he needs oral medication for his anaemia, to be fed a healthier diet than what he's having at the farm now, ie, he needs more good protein (boiled meats, eggs) and cream for his external wound.

So, pls email us at if you can stand-by as a foster for Jamie and better yet, take him home for good. Removing him from the farm could be his only chance of recovery. And survival.

August 7, 2007

New Animals and Birds (Dog Licensing and Control) Rules

A good step forward by the authorities.

Though there is still an uneven path for strays and issues relating to breeding farms, this is a good step forward nonetheless to put the point across to dog owners that they are responsible for their companion animals and should they be less than committed, the presence of bigger fines and better traceability will accord the animals a measure of protection.

Alright, I know I have not

This was after I had cleaned up best as I could.

completed the story of my thoroughly muddied Blunnies and jeans on Saturday. This is what happened......

After returning little Jamie and Xiao Bai back to the farm, as we were chatting and driving along, I saw on V's side of the road a small round patch of white and brown, right smack in the middle of the busy road, frozen still with cars zipping by.

Instinctively, I told V to stop the car immediately and I scooted out to see just what was a little Jack Russell doing in the middle of the road! Holding my hands up to warn 2 oncoming cars of the animal on the road, they slowed down and avoided the dog, but when I called to it and started walking towards it, it made a dash towards my side of the road! And that was when I saw ANOTHER dog, a local breed, on my side of the road.

Both are collared. A male local breed and a female overweight JRT. But what were they doing on the road with no owners in sight? We can't leave them like this, the next time they cross they would not be that fortunate....

And as if to add some sparkle to the event, these 2 dogs did just that -- they dashed across the street again amidst those cars which saw and slowed down for them!!

What can I do but to follow after them to find out exactly where they come from and make sure they are safe. So off I am, after 2 sprinting dogs down a grassy slope onto a wide expanse of field that leads to the backyard of a row of terrace houses.

I had no idea about the conditions of this green field...the further I walked, the taller the grass and I found myself at times more than knee deep in the green, on soft mushy grounds. The 2 dogs had bounded far away and I could see them in the distance, defensively guarding the gate to one house. As I got near, both were barking furiously at me, I wasn't worried about the small gal but the local breed looked threatening and ready to spring on me should I try anything funny. I stood around, moving only very slightly, inching nearer and nearer to the gate, with the 2 furious dogs flurrying around me. After a few minutes, when I now stood on the concrete with the JRT, she finally let down her guard, inched towards me, took a sniff at my legs and decided I am safe and harmless, thereafter her whole countenance changed and she was wagging her whole body sweetly in greeting. As I bent down to cuddle her, the local breed, seeing that his buddy has taken to me, also decided I was harmless and came towards me.

Then I was able to assess the situation in the quiet:

Here we have 2 dogs who had crossed a busy road twice, and sprinted across a huge field to this row of terraces. I hollered "HELLOOOO!!!" many many times down the row, knocked on the gates but no one bothered to answer.

Well, the logical explanation is these 2 dogs belong to a family here, but all the gates of this backyard were closed and no one seemed to be home. So the next thing to do is to check the gates .... so happened that the gate the dogs were guarding was closed but not locked, ie, the metal latch was placed down but not locked. I could also see dog bowls and leashes in the yard. Could this be their home? But hey, even if they are so smart as to open gates, I seriously doubt they can latch it back ya??! And case you were guessing, the JRT is just too fat to squeeze thru the grilles.

So, let's try...I opened the gate and the dogs scooted in immediately, drank from the bowl and then rested in the shade.

So, this is their home? But where are the owners??? I hollered and knocked on the glass door again but no one is home.

Then, I heard another man and his daughter coming towards the gate and initially thought they were the ones who lost their dog. But they were not. They had actually also seen cars missing the dogs as they drove down that road, so they parked nearby and came to check them out.

We were discussing what to do with these 2, as we were not even sure if this is their home. Didn't want to scare the house owner who comes back later to 2 strange dogs in his yard! Should we call SPCA? In the end, we decided it was safer to keep them in this yard for time being while we walk to the front and ask the neighborhood.

And it was during the walk to the front that I unknowingly got onto the softest and mushiest part of the field and sank knee deep into soft mud...mud so soft it just swallowed my Blunnies and legs and all and there was no way I could extricate myself. I was stuck!! Panicking for a bit cos I know the man couldn't help me either else he would also be stuck if he attempted to walk towards me. So, it was just me and me alone...but I just couldn't move my legs out an inch! The mud was holding me down so tightly. Oh man...what did I get myself into now??

Well no choice I guess..the only way to get out is to try. I had to catch hold of anything that can give me leverage while I work on each leg without adding more weight that'll push me deeper into the mud. So I reached for the hardiest looking patch around and used that to balance and place my weight while I pulled my right leg as much as I can. It felt like minutes before I could feel any movement in the mud. At times I thought I'm gonna lose my boot inside the goo....then finally....after some anxious minutes, my right foot is out. Now I had to very quickly pop my left leg out else I will sink in deep again the second I place my right foot down. So the instinct was to lean my weight on the ground and quickly pluck out my left foot and than run for my life away from that mud!! I did just that and as I ran, I could smell and see the goo splashing all around me...and yes...I felt some splash on me as well....You can guess just how nice I looked there and then.....

Ok, as for the 2 dogs, after asking around, we found out that we actually did put them back into the correct house. But what were they doing loose on the road? With no one home, I left a note for owner to call me back which she did. Apparently, they let their dogs out like this quite often even when they're not home (?!!) but she didn't know they had learnt to cross the road...I reckon the local breed must have been crossing the street very often now, but the JRT is probably not that streetwise as yet judging from the situation we found her in. She was probably trying to follow the local breed but was confused by the cars coming towards her. Well, they will do that no longer now after this warning episode.

As for my Blunnies, even after a long hard scrub, they are gonna smell raw and green for a few days I guess. But hey, these Blunnies bring me everywhere and it had all been good fun! I do like my little adventures. Next one please!

August 4, 2007

Other than little Jamie today,

we decided to bring Xiao Bai back to the vet too.

When I got to his farm, we couldn't locate him for awhile. Where was he snoozing? After a while, we found him resting beneath a structure, looking very lethargic as well. Just as I was wondering just how bad is his cough and what it sounds like, Xiao Bai broke into a dry, hacking episode of cough - a gagging kind of dry hacking cough that makes me feel the discomfort he must have gone thru for the past few weeks.

On the way to the vet, he's not too keen you can tell.

A common kennel cough would have cleared up within 2 weeks or less. Canine bronchitis may take longer.

Canine Bronchitis:

"Short cough spells, which sound like a rattle and don't really impress the animal much are not a matter of worry. They actually help clear the throat from any bothersome phlegm, which, in general, the dogs do not spit out, but rather swallow. All this indicates that it is a light bronchitis and if your dog is still in a good mood, has a good appetite, and his body temperature does not go above 39 degrees Celsius."

The good thing is Xiao Bai's temperature is at a normal 38.2 degrees, he still has a normal appetite, has not lost weight, does not have a heart murmur.

Having his temperature taken.

He's started on his course of treatment which basically offer relief and prevent further infections while awaiting the cough to clear on its own.

Incidentally, Xiao Bai never had cough before in the years on the farm but was hit by this coughing episode soon after he was caught and impounded. He could possible have been infected by another dog while he was caught and impounded in the pound. This is my personal suspicion.

Xiao Bai's treatment costs $65. Any amount of support will be appreciated. Pls email

* For those who are new to Project JK, we are just 2 volunteers (and recently a 3rd friend who helps us when she can) who do what we can, one animal at a time. We do not have excess in our funds. In fact, we already have overdrawn on the donations we have received from kind donors for each case we handle and appeal for.

We have managed fine so far, covering for the medical expenses at each case as we go along. The outstanding amount we have now is $450 for Guppy who was treated for heartworm, but unfortunately his condition was too chronic for recovery.

This is the only amount outstanding which I had not appealed for, as his case made me feel, at that moment, and I am being blatantly honest now - that we have 'wasted' money on him. I was really hoping for his recovery, I had thought the treatment would work, but when we did a post-mortem and I saw with my own eyes the number of worms he has in his heart, I knew it was too late for him.

Guppy's heart infested with heartworms.

That was more than a month ago and I couldn't make myself write an appeal for Guppy who died. But I realised I had indirectly put it across to people that we had wasted our time and efforts and money on Guppy, when in fact, we had chosen to give him a chance. Chosen to go ahead with treatment so that possibly he could be running along with his brother right now. A chance that he could be alive now.

The sad fact that Guppy didn't make it doesn't make our decision any less right. We should not withhold treatment when there is a chance, should we? Or does anyone think that we should calculate the costs because Guppy is a stray? What if Guppy is a home pet? Doesn't that make a decision more clear-cut? Being a stray sometimes comes with a less than privileged or even reasonable course of thought and decision.

So I do not feel 'bad' anymore about asking for your donation on behalf of Guppy. Yes, he has passed away now. But he had been given a chance at life. And we hope that those of you who understand this will support us by seeing his medical treatment fully accounted for.

In all, we are raising $635 for Guppy ($450), Xiao Bai ($65) and Jamie ($120).

With that, we will have more courage to make the right decisions in future. Right decisions that will not be hampered by a concern of finances.

Thank you.

Ok, let me get back to what

happened this morning.

Was on my way to vet attachment when I made a quick phone call to Xiao Bai's owner cos V told me few days ago that a JRT there was not well at all. I called to see if the uncle was already at the farm and good thing he was. So off I go to meet V first to bring the JRT to the vet. I thought it would be good to bring Xiao Bai for a check up too as he had been coughing for the past weeks with no obvious signs of improvement after a course of antibiotics and cough syrup.

When we got there, I gathered more info from uncle. The JRT apparently still has good appetite but other than meal times, he will be very lethargic and inactive most of the time. He has also lost weight in the past week.

On first check, his rib cage is showing and his gums are very pale. He also has a listless look about him, lying down silently on the seat all the way to the vet.

At the vet, it was confirmed he's suffering from anaemia (reduced number of red blood cells or haemoglobin) shown from his very pale gums, which is a result of some disease process. He also has a deep bacteria wound on his front paw which he has been licking, further aggravating it. Further to this, he has a suspicious lump in his stomach which could be a tumour.

The main causes of blood loss in dogs leading to anaemia include:

- Trauma or injury that severs blood vessels or internal organs
- Parasites such as fleas, ticks, and hookworms
- Tumors of the intestinal tract, kidneys, and urinary bladder
- Diseases that prevent proper clotting of blood

To rule out worms, we dewormed him today. And did a heartworm test which was negative. Treatment include antibiotics and iron supplements to combat the anaemia plus antibiotic cream and powder for his wound. An ultrasound will determine what that lump is and if an operation is needed to remove it. That will cost a lot. For now, we will carry out this course of treatment and monitor little Jamie for the next 20 days. If his condition does not improve, we will decide on the operation.

We also took his temperature to rule out fever. His temperature was a normal 38 degrees celsius. Incidentally, I was running a fever just yesterday, temperature of 38.4 degrees. My body was weary and listless and though I could feel my body heating up internally, my hands and feet were cold. That was one of the very rare ocassions I felt unwell. But I also knew I would recover in a flash. Which I did. After a cool bath and early rest, I woke up this morning all fine and well and back in action.

My episode got me thinking about fever. Have you ever wondered WHY you run a fever? And HOW it happens? As in, how does your body temperature rise? Is there an internal heater that runs when the body is unwell?


"Fever is a rise in our body's normal temperature, which, on average, is 36.6 to 37.2 degrees. Fever is part of our body's defense mechanism. When our bodies are fighting infections, our body temperature rises. But why? Fever is a symptom of an infection. Fever is a symptom of almost every disease known to man. Illnesses caused by viruses and bacteria invade our bodies and make us sick. Without our immune system to fight off these infections, we could die. Colds, tonsillitis, otitis media, the flu, bronchitis, tetanus, measles, mumps, chicken pox, AIDS, pneumonia are all examples of bacterial and viral infections.

Fever is a good thing. Does that sound like an odd statement? Fever is our body's natural response to fighting germs. Symptoms of a fever include: chills, aching everywhere, listlessness, elevated body temperature on the thermometer, red cheeks, and feeling hot or cold, shaking. The body basically shivers and has chills when the fever is rising, especially rapidly and sweats when the fever is dropping, or breaking, as some say.

The cause of the fever is quite an intricate process. Our blood and lymphatic systems produce white blood cells which are what fight off infection. As our white blood cells increase in number, like an army to fight the germs, they go faster and faster attacking the germs, this causes our bodies to heat up, thus causing the fever or rise in body temperature. The hypothalamus in the brain, which is the body's heat regulating mechanism is affected by the pyrogens, or the white blood cells that are produced to fight the infection. So, in effect, we can say that the fever is what is fighting the infection. That is why it is not good to try to bring down a fever too much or too fast. A temperature of 37.7 to 38.3 degrees celsius is good for the body because it shows that the body is fighting the infection. However, if a fever goes too high, measures must be taken to bring the fever down a bit. "

Normal dog temperature is 38 to 39.2 degrees celsius.

It got me thinking too that whatever we go through as humans, be it fever, flu, cough, skin problems like eczema, rashes, pregnancy etc...we understand it so much better when our animals go through the same issues. I also had a thought that women are in a privileged position as we have the chance to experience pregnancy and birth, and through that experience, understand personally the miracle of conception and birth in the animal kingdom. It brings us that much closer to the mothers of our world.

Jamie having his blood tested for heartworms.

With an E-collar to prevent him from licking his paw wound.

His treatment costs $120. We will appreciate your support. Please email for donation towards little Jamie. Thank you.

Meanwhile, if there is someone who can offer a good home to Jamie, pls contact us as I think he will be better off in a home environment. His current place is not exactly of good conditions and it could have been the cause of his ill health. Jamie is a very friendly fellow about 3-4 years old we guess. He was given to the farm by someone. A good home environment will be best for him.

But that still doesn't explain my totally muddied blunnies and jeans...

This is what my blunnies

and jeans look like after an unexpected adventure today, following after 2 dogs who were almost knocked down by cars as they dash across a busy street. And this is after I had cleaned up as well as I can. Will share more later.

August 2, 2007

Amazingly, we are into

the month of August. Yes again, the year has whizzed by silently. I hope all of you have been having good days and better days to come! We have been silent for many days now. The reason? Just one word, and an insignificant one in fact if you give it some thought - 'busy'.

What are we busy with day after day after day? How many little accomplishments did you manage yesterday? But then again, how many souls have you touched? How many ticks have you gto on your to-do list, yet how many joyful meetings have you made time for in the last week? Have you said no to your family, your kid, your pal cos you have another little battle to win in office?

I have to remind myself not to let the little time-stealers of each day cloud my big picture. Not to tire myself out with deeds, no matter how useful they are, but find myself completely drained at the end of the day, with no energy for the more important issues in life. Issues that have further and deeper implications than the immediate help that is met today.

Very soon, my counterpart will be off overseas for his study attachment and for a few months we will feel his absence in the scene. And soon after, for those who already know, I am off to pursue my lifelong ambition to be a vet. When all plans are laid out well and fine, I should be off very early next year. And this adventure will bring me 5 years away from home. Do keep a little prayer for me as I submit my applications and await good news for a placing in a vet school, after which my application for scholarship/sponsorship will follow.

This is what I mean by saying 'no' to some requests today so that I can say many many times 'yes' when I am fully qualified. When I am fully equipped to help in the very areas my heart calls me to.

Right now, there is little I can do other than to coordinate treatments for our animals in need and raising funds for their medical expenses. We are still very dependent and at times hampered by our lack of resources, both medical capability and financial backing.

We have stretched ourselves a bit too tight at times, finding ourselves weary and frustrated and wanting to shut my eyes and ears to the needs out there. At least maybe me sometimes. But give us some respite, some rest and we find ourselves back again. You never wander far from your calling I guess.

And just now, I found myself so very tempted to get myself this little black and white teddy hamster just so I have this little wondrous creature snoozing on my desk while I work. :) While, he is still available...who knows? He may just be here right beside me in a few days time, if my mind is still set on him.

For now, just reliving our episodes of past and the dogs who will be in our lives still for many many years to come.

Thank you to all for all your support along our way. Wouldn't have made anything come thru without you.